CRESWELL, Ore. - A trip two years in the making was not going to be derailed by politics.
Creswell Middle School sent 11 students and 14 adults to Washington, D.C.
They just got back from seeing government inaction.
"The Smithsonian was probably the biggest disappointment," said Shirley Burrus, the school principal. "We did not get to go in there."
The White House and other facilities were off limits.
But at the U.S. Capitol, the Creswell delegation got the VIP treatment.
"Congressman DeFazio took us on a personal tour," said student Zach Culp. "You know, that's priceless."
Sen. Jeff Merkley made sure the students got a taste of the U.S. Senate, too.
The tour gave kids a bird's-eye view of politics at a unique moment in time.
With a solution to the federal shutdown still out of reach, the students offered some advice for the adults in Congress about the art of compromise.
"Listen to each other," Morgan Janshen said. "Llisten and try to look from the other person's point of view and then maybe they can resolve it."
And when access was made difficult to many of the national monuments, one of the parents said the solution was clear: go around the barricade.
"A lot of people were going around them, too," said Alesha Williams Culp. "You feel - we have a right to see those monuments."